Issue: Editing - October 2007


LOS ANGELES - Final Cut’s ( JD Smyth recently worked on a spot that promotes Bizarre Games’ new Project Gotham Racing (PGR) 4 title for Microsoft’s Xbox 360 system. The project was brought to the studio by McCann-Erickson’s TAG division and features a collection of exotic cars racing through a quiet city, as onlookers observe from fire escapes and office windows.

As the camera pulls back to an overhead view, the skidmarks from the racers’ tires have created a form of abstract art. "The pavement is your canvas," declares the voiceover, as the Xbox game footage mirrors the action of the live scene.

Smyth edited :60, :30, :15 and :23/:07 versions of the Frame spot, and says what made it interesting was the integration of the game footage with the live action. "It wasn't just tacked onto the end of spot as you might see in traditional game advertising. It was a continuation of the story,” he notes.

Steve Rogers of Biscuit Filmworks directed the project, giving the live action the same style of cars racing in the game itself. Smyth adds that while the stunts were well choreographed, there was still a need to turn up the "wow" factor. He matted out some of the car elements in his Avid, cutting and pasting different takes for continuity and to heighten the sense of danger.

Sound design was handled by Stephen Dewey, Kip Smedley and Dustin Camilleri of Machinehead, who went on-set to record the actual race sounds. Smyth then incorporated these sounds in the offline to enhance the action in the spot. The original piano track that segues into a triumphant military celebration was composed by Dan the Automator. Lime Studios handled the mix.

Method Studios in Santa Monica created visual effects and handled the online. Stefan Sonnenfeld of Company 3 in Santa Monica served as colorist.